Our Achievements

Despite the cuts and changes to Australia's aid program over the last few years, there actually is a lot to celebrate. When Micah Challenge first began campaigning in support of Australia doing more to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals, our aid was at historically low levels. In fact, for every $100 of national income, we contributed just 23 cents for international development assistance.

In response to exciting, grassroots campaigning by Micah Challenge, Make Poverty History and others in Australia – along with increasing international focus on the MDGs – Prime Minister Howard made a commitment to double the aid budget. In Prime Minister Rudd committed to increase aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income (50 cents in every $100 of national income)

We didn't quite get there, but aid increased to 32 cents in every $100 of national income by 2013. In fact, over the 10 years since Prime Minister Howard first pledge to double the aid budget, an additional $10 billion has been added to Australia's budget – above what would have been the case had it remained at 2000 levels.

Politicians have cited the creative, consistent, passionate advocacy by Australian Christians as part of Micah Challenge as a significant contribution to this outcome.

Campaign Update

However, things have looked much less positive over the last few years as the Global Financial Crisis took hold, and budget revenues have been squeezed. In the 17 months since coming to office, the Abbott Government has announced $11 billion of cuts to planned aid expenditure over 4 years – including the largest ever single-year aid budget cut of $1 billion in the upcoming 2015-16 financial year. This will take our aid budget to the lowest ever level it has ever been as a proportion of our national income. More details here.

Since December 2014, supporters of Micah Challenge and its coalition members have sent over 1300 emails to over 145 Member of Parliament with the message "enough is enough". 

It has been a hard year for our aid campaign but we believe change is still possible. In our new political and global development context we believe it's more important than ever that we advocate for a generous and just aid program. This is why we are partnering with many other Australian aid agencies in the national Campaign for Australian Aid. More about the campaign here.

Find our latest blogs on Australia's aid program here.